You are currently viewing Do I Really Need to Clean My Walls Before Painting Them?

If you’re planning on painting the walls inside your home, you’ve likely heard the advice that they need to be washed beforehand. But if you’re in a time crunch, you might be wondering, is this step really necessary?

The answer, usually, is yes. Cleaning your walls is an important part of the preparation process to create a smooth and spotless finish.

Washing down your interior walls is especially necessary if:

  • You or a previous owner smoked inside
  • You’re painting a kitchen, bathroom, or mudroom
  • The walls have grease or grime stains
  • The walls have crayon marks or shoe scuffs
  • You have a messy pet
  • The room has a wood burning fireplace
  • The walls have handprints 
  • The walls are dusty

All of these imperfections will prevent the new paint layer from sticking to the walls. This can cause the paint to chip, fade, and wear away over time. So, if you think you’re saving time by skipping the wash down, just remember you’ll have to repaint the same room not so far down the line.

On the other hand, if your walls have been freshly painted in the last 5 years and none of these risk factors apply to you, you might be okay to skip washing the walls. 

But for the best results, it’s better to be safe than sorry. That’s why we recommend just a quick wash before painting your interior walls. 

How to Wash Walls Before Painting Them

Some professional painters will recommend harsh chemicals to break down the grime on your interior walls. But most of the time, this is not necessary. Instead, a simple solution of dish soap and lukewarm water will suffice. 

Begin the process by removing all wall decor and moving your furniture to the center of the room. Then, prepare your solution in a bucket. Start by using only a small amount of soap, and add more as needed.

Next, use a damp, soft sponge to wash the walls in circular motions. Do not over soak the sponge.

Pay special attention to heavy traffic areas, such as the trims around doors and windows. Other common problem areas include above the stove, around vents, and near the pet bed. 

For removing smoke stains, use a solution of warm water and baking soda. This will remove the stains and also neutralize the scent. For other, more stuck-on stains, TSP (trisodium phosphate) can be used. Carefully follow the instructions on this alkaline cleaning powder. 

Wipe away any excess moisture with a dry towel. Set up a fan and wait for your walls to dry completely before painting them. 

When your new wall color comes out perfect and it lasts for many years, you’ll be thankful you spent the time on this extra prep step!

Interior Residential Painting Services in Metro Detroit

Here at Armor Tough Coatings, we believe in doing things right the first time around. That’s why our interior painting services are so highly praised! 

We have provided high-quality, professional residential painting services in metro Detroit for nearly 10 years. We even offer 3- and 5- year warranties, guaranteeing perfection long after the final walk through. 

Are you ready to paint your living room, kitchen, bedroom, or hallways? Call Armor Tough Coatings today!